What Is Kybella? Meet the Fat-Killing Injectable

BY: Colleen Loggins Loster |Nov 16, 2018


Exercise is truly great if you want to shed some pounds, but there is something exercise can't do—spot reduction. And if your area of concern is underneath your chin, you're basically limited to getting invasive liposuction. Or, at least you were. Now there's Kybella, which can destroy fat cells underneath the chin.

To learn about Kybella, click on one of the questions below:

What is Kybella?

Kybella is an FDA-approved prescription medicine designed to improve the appearance of moderate to severe fat below the chin, AKA a "double chin."

How does Kybella work?

Kybella contains synthetic deoxycholic acid. Deoxycholic acid occurs naturally in the body and helps break down and absorb dietary fat. When injected underneath the chin, Kybella destroys fat cells in order to reduce or eliminate the double-chin look.

Are the results permanent?

Yes! Once the fat cells are destroyed, they can no longer store fat.

How many treatments will I need?

A consultation with your doctor will determine how many treatments you need based on your chin profile. According to the manufacturer, many people experience visible results after 2–4 treatments (59% of people received six treatments in clinical studies). Specifically:

  • 8% of people experienced improvement after one treatment
  • 28% experienced improvement after two treatments
  • 43% experienced improvement after three treatments
  • 55% experienced improvement after four treatments
  • 66% experienced improvement after five treatments
  • 72% experienced improvement after six treatments

Read more about the study results here.

What happens during a treatment?

During each Kybella treatment, you'll receive multiple injections under your chin. The entire injection process takes about 15–20 minutes.

How long should I wait between treatments?

Each treatment should be spaced at least one month apart.

Is there any downtime?

You will likely experience some bruising, swelling, bruising, or numbness under your chin, all of which can last a few weeks. It's best to schedule your Kybella treatment 3–4 weeks out from a special event.


Am I eligible for Kybella?

Kybella is designed for adults over the age of 18.

According to the manufacturer, you should not get Kybella if you:

  • Have an infection in the treatment area

Inform your doctor if you:

  • Have had or plan to have surgery on your face, neck, or chin
  • Have had cosmetic treatments on your face, neck, or chin
  • Have had or have medical conditions in or near the neck area
  • Have had or have trouble swallowing
  • Have bleeding problems
  • Are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. It is not known if Kybella can harm an unborn baby or pass into breast milk.
  • Take any medications that prevent the clotting of blood (antiplatelet or anticoagulant medicines)

Also tell your doctor about all of the medicines you take, both prescription and over-the-counter, plus vitamins and herbal supplements.

What are potential Kybella side effects?

  • Nerve injury in the jaw (which can cause an uneven smile or facial muscle weakness)
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Bruising, hair loss, and open sores (ulcers) around the injection site
  • Damage and tissue cell-death (necrosis) around the injection site

In clinical studies, nerve injury in the jaw resolved on its own in a median of 44 days (range of 1 to 298 days). Trouble swallowing resolved on its own in a median of 3 days (range of 1 to 81 days).

Read all of the safety considerations for Kybella here.


The information contained in this article is from Kybella's website.



Juvéderm FAQs: What It Does, Cost & More Juvéderm

Dermal fillers, such as Juvéderm, can help correct signs of aging.
What Is Botox: The Complete Guide Botox

This guide will take you beyond the basics of Botox injections, step by step.
What Is Dysport and How Does It Work? Dysport

Dysport can help improve the appearance of lines by paralyzing the muscles that form them.
Restylane FAQs: Cost, Results, Side Effects & More Restylane

One way to enhance your lips, smooth out wrinkles, or add fullness to the face is by using Restylane.
Using Botox for Migraine Headaches Using Botox for Migraine Headaches

If you've ever had migraines, you might want to consider Botox.
Using Botox for Sweating Using Botox for Sweating

The wrinkle fighter can also curb even the most excessive sweating.